Cometeer Coffee Is Convenient To Make But Has More Flash Than Flavor

If you've spent any time on the coffee side of TikTok or other social media platforms, there's a chance you've heard of Cometeer. This coffee company aims to deliver coffee from some of the country's top roasters to the masses with easy subscription boxes. Its coffee pod prep simplifies preparing great coffee, requiring no expensive equipment or an investment of time. 

I have several years of background as a professional barista, and although I tend to be more of an espresso drinker, my husband prefers black coffee, so there was a time when we subscribed to Cometeer quite regularly. A box would appear at our door, we'd unpack it, and it would hang out in our freezer until we were ready to use it. So, I had some familiarity with the brand as a customer before jumping into this review with a critical eye.

To sample the product, Cometeer sent me a mixed curated box with a carton of light roast, two medium roasts, and one dark roast. The coffees come from George Howell, Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Houseplant Coffee. To test each out, I enjoyed them as hot black coffee and then mixed them with some sweetened condensed milk that I regularly use as a creamer. When reviewing the final result, I considered the flavor, body, and aroma of each coffee.

My review is made from first-hand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer and distributor.

What is Cometeer Coffee?

At its most basic form, Cometeer Coffee offers frozen concentrated coffee capsules that, when mixed with water, create a cup of coffee in a fraction of the time you would typically spend shopping for, prepping, grinding, brewing, and making a cup of joe. The premise here is that nearly all of the work is done ahead of time using quality coffee to create a great cup. The frozen capsules are pre-brewed, flash-frozen extracts of coffees made from large roasters all over the country, including Equator, Black & White, and Red Bay coffee roasters. Java drinkers add hot or cold water to the mix, and coffee blooms from there.

Cometeer ships the coffee pods right to your door in a well-packaged dry ice box, and then you store them in your freezer until you are ready to prepare them. The pods come in recyclable packaging with a peel-away foil topper, and the pod inside is easy to remove from its container once you're ready to make your cup of coffee. Cometeer offers a bunch of different coffee varieties as well as variety packs so that you can fine-tune your coffee order to suit your tastes or flavor exploration.

Where can I buy Cometeer Coffee?

You'll purchase Cometeer through its website. Here, you can choose from a package of purely light roasts, a mixed box of medium and light roasts, solely medium roasts, a combination of medium and dark roasts, or dark roasts only. Decaf or half-caffeinated coffees are also available. The roast level you chose for your box comes from a mixture of different coffee companies. However, you can also choose to get a box particular to a specific roaster's offerings if you prefer to have your Cometeer from your favorite shop.

Within each box ordered, you'll get a total of 32 frozen capsules. You can also order them on a coffee subscription service at a significantly reduced price that's easy to cancel, so it makes sense that you would order by the membership to save on your coffee. Without a membership, a one-time purchase of a box is going to be $84, while a membership cost is $64. If you purchase at the membership price, the price per cup of coffee comes out at $2 per cup, and a non-member will pay nearly $3 per cup.

Preparation process

Although these pods show up at your door frozen, it doesn't necessarily mean they need to remain frozen in order for you to use them. For a hot cup, you can simply remove a pod from its sleeve, open the foil covering, put it upside down in your mug, pour the tiniest amount of hot water over the top, and listen for the quiet thunk. When you hear this, the pod will be released from its cup. You can remove the aluminum to reveal a frozen chunk of coffee in your mug. Alternatively, you can run the aluminum cup under the faucet for a moment, which should heat it up enough to dislodge the cube inside. 

From there, pour 6 to 8 ounces of hot water into your cup and allow the pod to melt. It'll happen quickly, probably before you even finish pouring your coffee water. I highly recommend using very hot water since you're mixing it with essentially a giant coffee ice cube, which will cool it down significantly. From there, you can add any creamer or flavoring additions you would typically include in a regular cup of coffee.

If you are making iced coffee, Cometeer recommends leaving a pod overnight in your refrigerator. In the morning, you can simply pour it into your cup and add cold water directly to it, thereby removing the necessity of first using hot water to release the pod from its container and pouring hot water over it to melt.

Taste Test: Fast Forward by Counter Culture

The Cometeer pod is a medium blend from Counter Culture, a coffee chain based in New York City. As a blend of African coffees, this one is said to have nutty and sweet notes. In my tasting, I started with simple, black coffee. With the Fast Forward, I found it to have a nice mix of flavors going on, although they were mild at best. Some of the described flavor notes came through, but the scent was particularly dull. Since scent is intrinsically tied to taste, I tend to like a strong aroma with my coffees. Missing that bold smell made this Cometeer coffee feel a bit off-putting.

Because I liked the flavor here when the coffee was black, I was expecting to enjoy it even more with the sweetened condensed milk. However, the sweetened condensed milk didn't add much more excitement, and the coffee remained pretty baseline and muted. Despite some of the notes coming through on the black cup, overall, I found that this pod lacked the super fresh taste that I'm used to enjoying in my coffees. This likely comes from grinding the beans myself, so take that into consideration. This pod might be a good method to fast forward your morning cup, but not necessarily one to sit and savor. 

Taste Test: Boa Vista Estate by George Howell Coffee

Coffee roast levels vary the flavor pretty dramatically, and theoretically, a light roast should have a significantly different flavor profile. Although I love my dark roast coffee, a light roast can be a nice and tangy, acidic, or fruity way to enjoy java as well. I was eager to try one of Cometeer's lighter offerings, the single-origin Boa Vista Estate from George Howell, at this roast level. The Brazillian-sourced coffee promised stone fruit, berry, and tree nut flavors.

Upon sipping, I found that there was a brightness to this cup that was missing from the other coffees, and it actually really has more of a bitter bite to it than the slowly darker roast options. All in all, it held up to the promise of a lightly-roasted single-origin. The fruity notes of cherry and blueberry, along with the hazelnut taste, came through. Unlike an acidic single-origin, though, I found this little nip to make it more enjoyable once the coffee had some creamer with it. This extra touch helps dampen that sharp flavor to give it more balance in the fruity feel, seemingly as intended.

Taste Test: Get Roasted by Houseplant Coffee

Of the coffee flavors I tried, this one won the award for the most fun roaster name: Houseplant Coffee. The origin is just as silly. A collaboration between the coffee capsule company and comedian Seth Rogen's cannabis-centered ceramics business, this Houseplant Coffee pod is completely unique to Cometeer. Its Get Roasted blend hails from Mexico and is a dark roast billed as having chocolate, cashew, and an ambiguous baking spice as its tasting notes. The aroma was a bit stronger than the other pods, putting it off to a great start.

Although this is a dark roast, it is not bitter in any way. The Get Roasted pod is actually quite mellow, and of the flavors named, the cashew comes through the strongest. If I'm drinking non-espresso-made coffee, I tend to be more of a cafe-with-creamer drinker. When I tried this one without anything in it, it was smooth and easygoing. In fact, Houseplant Coffee was so enjoyable I opted to add only a minimal amount of creamer, expecting a tasty result. Surprisingly, it actually tastes much better without any additions. The sweetened condensed milk overpowered the flavor far too much, definitely more than I was anticipating, and took away everything that made this one good. Lesson learned: Drink this one black.

Taste Test: Black Cat Classic Espresso by Intelligentsia

Intelligentsia's Black Cat espresso is a classic among third-wave coffee enthusiasts, and Cometeer's pod is a bold claim to be something like the definitive espresso roast. The box is labeled with well-known tasting notes: dark chocolate, raw sugar, and marshmallow. Black Cat is a blended coffee from Colombia and Brazil; the roast type (medium) is lighter than might be typical for some espresso-style coffees, but the hope is that Intelligentsia has avoided toasting out some of the more prominent flavors of coffees that come from South America. 

Though it is a medium roast, I found it tastes like a darker roast. yet feels quite watered down compared to your typical espresso — especially the ones that can be made at home. That's to say, the body doesn't have the boldness that you'd get from brewing Black Cat beans via another method. When tasting, if I got any marshmallow, it was more on the bright side than anywhere else, tasting sweeter rather than as the hailed toasted sugar notes that this Intelligentsia coffee is known for. 

That makes this the pod where additions shined. Adding creamer didn't always do the trick with the other offerings, but adding some here accomplished a fair amount of work with the flavor. Without milk, the pod tastes a bit watered down.

Is it worth it?

I tend to enjoy the process as much as I enjoy the final product. Further still, my coffee choices are pretty demanding in terms of character. Overall, I found that more of the coffees from Cometeer felt diluted for my personal preference, even though I added the minimum amount of water recommended. Some of them, like the Boa Vista and the Get Roasted coffee, did show up with flavors that were bigger, but only relative to the other capsules. These are extracts, after all, not freshly brewed beans.  Although I did not test the capsules as cold brew coffee, the addition of more water by volume (and possibly ice) would only likely contribute to watering down the extract. If you like your coffee on the lighter side, Cometeer is going to be a good choice.

However, if you, like me, enjoy the act of grinding your coffee fresh, prefer meticulous preparation, and are picky about where you get your whole beans from, Cometeer may not be for you. Where Cometeer shines is in the convenience. If you typically drink regular drip coffee and are looking for a quick and convenient solution to your morning cup, Cometeer is worth it, especially for the membership price of around $2 a cup. It simplifies the process and gets reasonably quality coffee in your mug quickly. Plus, you don't even need to shop for your coffee because it can be delivered right to your door. Additionally, the ability to try coffees from big-name roasters in such an easy way adds a nice flair to your morning.